iSeal: starting a new super-soldier series

iSeal200wiSeal is the opening adventure for a new kind of super-soldier. He’s an experimental special forces fighter, enhanced with a high-tec implant to boost intelligence, reaction times and physiological endurance.

The iSeal soldier is permanently online and able to access and process information at superhuman speeds. He can learn entire skill sets and a lifetime of expertise by downloading the specific programme. And – as part of the process – he’s lost all sense of self and has total personality amnesia. It’s kinda like a Joe 90 / Jason Bourne mash-up. Oh, and he’s indoctrinated with protocols to protect himself and the constitution of the USA – so chuck a bit of Asimov’s laws of robotics into the mix, too.

This fast-paced first instalment is a rapid read, and explains just how a promising Seal candidate ends up washing out and then ‘volunteering’ for the iSeal programme. He should have returned to his normal life within a month but things get wildly out of shape shortly after the iSeal is activated. He has no personal memory but he has plenty of skills – and needs all of them when the experimental programme is compromised, the boys in black hats turn up, and the No-Such-Agency start terminating with considerable prejudice all those potentially embarrassing loose ends.

Much like the Bourne movies, iSeal bounds along from one action encounter to the next. The author doesn’t spend too long on building up the background or establishing the individual histories of the minor characters. As a result, there are really only two characters of any great substance, while the bad guys are fairly by-the-numbers villains. There’s also a strange plot device involving the military chain-of-command which didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me – but iSeal isn’t really about the subtle intricacies of espionage. It’s a shoot-em-up in printed form: an outright action-adventure. So it’s all about pushing the plot forwards, and enjoying the fight-scene set-pieces which pretty much run non-stop from the opening chapter to the final few pages. The result is one of those page-turning novels which is real easy to rip through in a single session.

Don’t expect great detail on the science side of things: you also won’t find yourself drowning in military jargon or army expertise. You should also be aware that this is only the first episode in what promises to be an ongoing series so there is no real resolution at the end of this book. iSeal serves to get the ball rolling with an interesting central character: a super soldier indeed, and one who is out in the cold…

7/10

Available as a paperback or ebook from Amazon.

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